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Kicking alcohol can kill you: See a doctor

By Shan Juan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-07-07 07:51:48

Kicking alcohol can kill you: See a doctor

[Photo/Xinhua]

If you are seriously addicted to alcohol and want to quit, see a doctor or a psychiatrist.

That's because quitting on your own can be deadly, according to Chi Yong, head of the alcoholism treatment unit at Beijing Anding Hospital. The hospital specializes in mental health.

Alcohol is addictive, but unlike many other addictive substances, such as most opioid drugs, it comes with potentially deadly consequences during withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms include fluttering in the chest and trembling. Severe episodes without timely medical intervention can lead to convulsions and even death.

There is also a mental component. Alcohol abuse, or alcohol use disorder, is a psychological condition in which a person continues to drink despite negative consequences.

The sufferer cannot overcome the urge to drink, which might occur anytime, not just at meals, Chi said.

"Public awareness has to be raised, given the worsening drinking problem in China," Chi said.

A death rate around 20 percent is reported among patients who quit on their own and then develop serious alcohol withdrawal syndrome, Chi said, citing international studies.

Officially called the Psychosomatic Ward, his hospital unit was reopened after a six-year hiatus and now has 60 beds. It can receive diagnosed alcoholics, including Chinese patients and English-speaking foreigners, to help them survive withdrawal.

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